Buddhism Guides

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche: A Guide for Readers

About Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Dzigar Kongtrul was born in the Northern Indian province of Himachal to his parents Neten Chokling Rinpoche and Mayum Tsewang Palden. During his monastic education, he was trained in the Nyingma school's Longchen Nyingtik lineage under his root guru, the renowned Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Additionally, he studied extensively under Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche. In 1989, he moved to the United States with his family where he began a five-year tenure as professor of...
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I Ching Translations by Thomas Cleary: A Reader’s Guide

Thomas Cleary (1949—2021) was one of the twentieth century’s greatest translators of Asian classics. He was extremely prolific, translating and authoring countless works. Shambhala Publications has published over sixty. His books have sold millions of copies and his translations have in turn been translated into over twenty languages worldwide. His first published project, in collaboration with his brother J.C. Cleary, was the classic Blue Cliff Record, that great collection of koans. Cleary explored the I Ching in many dimensions including...
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Remembering Thomas Cleary, Translator of Asian Classics

Last week we received the very sad news that Thomas Cleary, one of the greatest translators of our time, passed away on June 20, 2021. Thomas Cleary (1949–2021) was the twentieth century's most prolific translator of Asian classics to English, translating and introducing over eighty works from Chinese, Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali, Bengali, Arabic, and Old Irish. Shambhala Publications publishes over sixty of his works. He was a very private person, shunning the limelight and preferring to work quietly, producing some...
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A Reader’s Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva

The great nineteenth-century master Patrul Rinpoche, author of The Words of My Perfect Teacher  and  revered by all Tibetan Buddhists, was known for his wandering ascetic lifestyle, eschewing fame, generous offerings, and all but the most meager possessions. However, wherever he went throughout his peripatetic life, he carried with him a copy of Shantideva's Bodhicharyavatara, which we know now as  The Way of the Bodhisattva or A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life.  Renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge and ability to transmit the wisdom of  Prajnaparamita and...
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Dogen: A Guide to His Works

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World.  You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here.  Dogen, from the cover of Essential Dogen. Explore the Reader Guides to Zen Buddhism Overview Zen Buddhism: A Reader's Guide to the Great Works Chan in China The Works...
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The Works of Zen in the Tang Dynasty

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World.  You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here.  An image from a sutra from the Tang Dynasty.  Learn more about this image from the Met. Explore the Reader Guides to Zen Buddhism Overview Zen Buddhism: A Reader's...
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Korean Zen

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World.  You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here.  Portrait of the Great Master Seosan From the Met Explore the Reader Guides to Zen Buddhism Overview Zen Buddhism: A Reader's Guide to the Great Works Chan in China...
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Zen Buddhism: A Readers Guide to the Great Works

There have been surprisingly few clear introductions to the full range of the East Asian tradition of what is popularly commonly referred to, in its Japanese variant, as Zen Buddhism but also known as Chan, Soen, and Tien in original Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese .  All these names stem from the Sanskrit word jhana or dhyana which was rendered as Chan, but all share a fundamental set of practices and views, though with a stunning variety of creativity and approaches....
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Q&A with Cuong Lu of Wait

Cuong Lu, author of Wait, discusses his new book, how we can bring happiness and love into every moment of our lives, and shares some words of encouragement for when times get tough. 1. Why was it important to you to write Wait? I was alarmed seeing so many shootings in the US on the news—homicides, accidents, suicides, and killings by police officers. It seems we’ve forgotten how precious life is. We’re killing each other and we’re killing ourselves. I wrote...
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Thich Nhat Hanh on Dying…and Living

Thich Nhat Hanh on Dying...and Living For more from Thich Nhat Hanh, see his author page with books, audiobooks, cards, as well as anthologies where his teachings are included. Becoming Truly Alive What would you do if your doctor told you that you only had three months to live? Would you waste this time bemoaning your fate? Would you give yourself over to pain and despair? Or would you resolve to live each moment of those three months in a...
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Patrul Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

Praise to Patrul Rinpoche Outwardly, you are the Son of the Victorious Ones, Shantideva. Inwardly, you are the saint, the conqueror Shavaripa. Secretly, you are the supreme sublime being Dug-ngal Rangdröl, actual self-liberator of the suffering of beings. Jigme Chökyi Wangpo, I pray to you. — by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, from Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's Sunlight Speech That Dispels the Darkness of Doubt Jump To: His Life | Foundations | Propitious Speech | Mahayana | Tantra | Dzogchen | More Paperback |  eBook...
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Anam Thubten on Meditation: The Art of Resting

What follows is the entire chapter on meditation from Anam Thubten's No Self, No Problem It is very good to ask from time to time, “What am I searching for?” This is a very powerful question. We may be surprised and shocked when we figure out what we have been up to. Often we discover that we have been chasing illusions. Sometimes they are beautiful illusions like the illusion of enlightenment and spiritual transformation. Nevertheless, as long as we allow...
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Shambhala Publications and the Global Health Crisis

We know your lives have been profoundly changed by the impact of the ongoing global health crisis. We know you are concerned for yourselves, for your loved ones, for your communities. We know so many people are suffering right now, and are afraid. And we want to help. We want you to know that though we may be physically isolated, we are all connected, and we’re in this together. Below you will find lots of great ideas for weathering this storm:...
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Khyentse Foundation Second Children’s Book Prize Winner Announced

Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids are delighted to announce that Carol Dodd is the winner of this year’s Children’s Book Prize. Carol Dodd is a first-time author based in Hawai’i. She wrote a magical, lyrical children’s book on impermanence for ages 4–8, which will be published through Bala Kids in 2021. The central theme that runs through this sweet, accessible telling is that, “Everything changes, day to night. Everything changes, and that’s all right.” Ivan Bercholz, publisher of Bala Kids,...
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Stephanie Kaza in Conversation about Green Buddhism

Stephanie Kaza, author of GREEN BUDDHISM: Practice and Compassionate Action in Uncertain Times, in conversation about her life as a UC Santa Cruz biologist, a writer, a professor, and a Buddhist.     Books by Stephanie Kaza See All Books
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The State of Buddhist Publishing

[Note: This article on Buddhist publishing was originally written by Nikko Odiseos, president of Shambhala Publications for the blog Vajrayanaworld.com as requested by Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo.  As the blog is no longer, we are hosting it here with a few small updates.]  My longtime friend Lama Wangmo asked if I would pen a few words on the state of Buddhist publishing, wearing my hat as the president of Shambhala Publications since 2010 and Snow Lion Publications since we acquired...
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Free Video Series with Pema Chödrön

Sign Up for 5 Free Videos and a Meditation Practice from Pema Chödrön! ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO RECEIVE A SERIES OF 5 VIDEOS AND A MEDITATION PRACTICE. In her first new book of spiritual teachings in over seven years, Pema Chödrön offers fresh wisdom, heartfelt reflections, and the signature humor and insight that have made her a beloved guide during turbulent times. Count down to the release of Welcoming the Unwelcome with five short videos from Pema on how...
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Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche & Pema Chödrön in Conversation | Free Video Offering

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Pema Chödrön Discuss the Innate Tenderness of Our Hearts ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO ACCESS THE COMPLETE VIDEO INTERVIEW. In this interview, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche sits down with Pema Chödrön to discuss his book, Training in Tenderness, cultivating compassion, and the innate tenderness of our hearts known as tsewa. After entering your email address, you will receive access to the full 73 minute interview between Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche and Pema Chödrön and 6 short clips highlighting...
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A Talk on the Importance of Sangha

The following talk is from Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo’s Course: Living the Dharma: How to Practice Buddhism and Make It Count.  We have made this final talk available here as a podcast as we think this is one of the most important, powerful, and clear presentations on the importance of Sangha, or spiritual community, we have ever heard. For many in the West, taking refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma is really easy, but the third jewel,...
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Announcing the Second Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize

Theme: Stories that Teach Foundational Buddhist Topics After a successful competition in 2017, Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids are once again teaming up to offer the Khyentse Foundation Children’s Book Prize for best Buddhist children’s manuscript. Khyentse Foundation and Bala Kids have the shared vision to inspire and educate future generations about Buddhism and to encourage the development of Buddhist resources for parents and children. This year, the prize will be offered to the best children's book about one or...
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The Role of the Teacher in Tibetan Buddhism: A Reader’s Guide to the Teacher-Student Relationship

To truly understand Tibetan Buddhism, one must come to grips with the unique role of the teacher, the dynamics of the teacher-student relationship, and the possibilities that having a teacher can open up. Tibetan Buddhism is composed of the Vajrayana or Tantric teachings on top of a foundation of the Sutrayana (vehicle of the Sutras), the core teachings of what are sometimes called the Sravakayana and the Mahayana. In the context of the Sutrayana, a relationship with a teacher roughly...
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Milarepa: A Reader’s Guide to Tibet’s Great Yogi

There are few figures more beloved in the Buddhist Himalayas than the 11th century yogi-hero Milarepa. His story of hardship, errant paths, disciplined training, heartbreak, devotion, and ultimate liberation have been told in many places. Stories of his life, as well as teachings on his songs, abound—dozens of Shambhala Publications and Snow Lion books feature him. His example and teachings appear across all traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Milarepa's wisdom has likely reached more people through Pema Chödron's When Things Fall Apart than all these...
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The Heart Sutra: A Reader Guide

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World.  You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here.  The Heart Sutra stands among the classic Buddhist scriptures. Akin in importance to the “Shema Yisrael” for Jews or the “Lord’s Prayer” for Christians, the Heart Sutra is considered...
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Temple Boy and Spitting Cobra | An Excerpt from In the Cool Shade of Compassion

A Lesson on Revenge Ajan Ngoen was born in 1890 in the Village of Grandma Hom’s Knoll in Nakhon Pathom, a province about sixty kilometers west of Bangkok. Ngoen’s father was a farmer and herbal doctor who taught him mantras and medicine from palm-leaf texts. In 1910 Ngoen (which means “silver”) was ordained as a monk at the Monastery of Grandma Hom’s Knoll (Wat Don Yai Hom). Not long after his ordination he took up the thudong practice and left...
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The Bodhicitta Effect

A Healing Power by Radhule Weininger, author of Heartwork A Surprising Discovery Recently, during a one-year mindfulness facilitator training, our team of teachers made a surprising discovery. As part of an exercise, students were taught how to guide each other through mindfulness and compassion meditations. Afterwards, students shared their experiences of how this had been for them. One of those who shared was Anne. She told us that this exercise had helped her to understand the depth and subtlety of...
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From Fire to Mud | A Journey Through the California Fires

The Lotus of Mutual Belonging by Radhule Weininger, author of Heartwork “If the world is to be healed through human effort, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for life is even greater than their fear. People who can open to the web that called us into being.”—Joanna Macy The Flames of the California Fires From the top of our roofs we could see the fires crawling over the hills closer and closer towards us....
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Buddhist Poetry – A Reader Guide

Navigating the vast world of spiritual verse can be disorienting. With so many anthologies and translations to choose from, finding what speaks to you can be a real challenge. Shambhala Publications publishes numerous books of Buddhist poetry, and we’ve gathered some of our favorites here. Ranging from classical Tibetan songs of devotion to contemporary American reflections on navigating the path, our collection of Buddhist poetry offers a little something for everyone, Buddhist or otherwise. Chan and Zen Poetry Please also...
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The Future of Religion: A Reader’s Guide

In the world of religion, some things stay the same, while many are constantly adapting to meet our new world of the internet and cell phones, scientific discovery, increasing awareness of gender and race dynamics, multiculturalism, the numbers of people identifying their religion as “none” or “spiritual but not religious,” and so much more. We have chosen a few books below that address these issues, each in its own way. “Rita Gross offers readers an amazing example of a lifelong,...
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Chögyam Trungpa: A Reader’s Guide

Chögyam Trungpa's legacy is nearly impossible to measure, but one gauge is his literary output. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s impact on the transmission of Buddhism to the West cannot be overstated. In the quarter century he spent in the West, he taught tens of thousands of students, in many cases introducing them to Buddhism for the first time. His legacy is nearly impossible to measure, but one gauge is his literary output. Shambhala has published about three dozen unique books by,...
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Sacred Are the Trees

Sacred Are the Trees: A Retelling of Ancient Stories from Biographies of the Buddha by Wendy Garling, author of Stars at Dawn Why Trees? Those familiar with the Buddha’s biography know that all major events in his life took place under trees. He was born under a shala tree (shorea robusta), for example, as his mother Maya stood upright and grasped a branch with her right hand. Young prince Siddhartha experienced his first deep meditation under a rose-apple tree. Years...
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Kalu Rinpoche on “The Treasury of Knowledge” Translation

Kalu Rinpoche and the Translation of The Treasury of Knowledge Below Sarah Harding shares the story of how Kalu Rinpoche came to take on the task of translating Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye's The Treasury of Knowledge, an immense feat that took the skills and dedication of many that will be treasured by all who are able to benefit from its work for years to come.   From Sarah Harding's preface to Book 8, Part 4. Khyabjé Kalu Rinpoché visited Santa...
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A Readers Guide to the Sakya Master Chogyal Phakpa

Chogyal Phagpa Drogon Chogyal Phagpa, better known to the world as Chogyal Phagpa (or Phakpa) is one of the five great founding masters from the Sakya tradition in Tibet. This 13th century master was the nephew of Sakya Pandita. Before going into the various resources in print and online, included below is his biography of Lama Migmar Tseten's Treasures of the Sakya Lineage. "Drogon Chogyal Phagpa was born amid excellent signs to Sakya Pandita’s younger brother, Zangtsa Sonam Gyaltsen (1184‒1239),...
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The Boy without a Name or The Boy Who Lives by Himself | An Unfinished Story by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The Boy without a Name or The Boy Who Lives by Himself is an unfinished story written by Chögyam Trungpa at an unknown date. We would like to invite you to read what Chögyam Trungpa wrote and write your own ending to the story. You can post your writing in the comments below. I am the boy who lives by himself. I don’t do anything in particular, I just live—that’s the way I am. I spend my life playing and I make up...
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Book Club Discussion | The Buddha Walks into the Office

The Buddha Walks into the Office seemed a particularly apt choice for our Shambhala office book club. After all, if anyone should aspire to an awake, uplifted workplace, it should be us. We dove in to see if Lodro Rinzler, teacher in the Shambhala tradition and founder of MNDFL meditation studios in New York, had any tips for us. If you’re reading along, please comment at the bottom of this guide and let us know if The Buddha Walks into...
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Children of the Buddha

by Rebecca Hazell The Buddha is well known in popular culture. He is seen as wise, benign, friendly, and peaceful. You can find commercialized representations of him in images ranging from good luck Ho Tai figures to garden statues of him sitting and typing on a laptop. Imagine what a ruckus would ensue if Jesus or Muhammad were depicted like that. It’s taken for granted that the Buddha would laugh at the laptop or smile gently, maybe sadly, and move...
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Book Club Discussion | Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

Each month, the Shambhala employees gather to discuss a new book as part of our Shambhala Publications Book Club. After each meeting, we will be sharing the notes from our discussion with you to spark your own thoughts and conversations. Our October pick was Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice by Shunryu Suzuki. Book Description In the forty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind has become one of the great modern spiritual classics,...
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Book Club Discussion | Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa

by Kate White Kate, our Production Coordinator/Designer, sums up our August meeting of the new Shambhala Publications Book Club! August’s book selection was Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We invite you to take part by sharing your comments below. There are a lot of different kinds of people who work at Shambhala Publications. We come from a wide array of backgrounds, and each of us has a unique story about how we found our way into our...
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The Nyingma Summer Seminar: Reflections on a Buddhist Retreat

By Sanje Phillips This July, I attended the Nyingma Summer Seminar at the Mangala Shri Bhuti retreat land in Ward, Colorado, with Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche, Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel (wife), and Dungse Jampal Norbu (son). Over one hundred attendees with varied demographics sat daily meditation sessions, participated in the teachings, endured periods of silence and the usual “plain but healthy” retreat food. My experience was resoundingly positive, as we had an opportunity to explore the depths of many traditional and profound Buddhist teachings. All...
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Overcoming Adversaries in Meditation Practice

Tim Drugan-Eppich shares his thoughts on his meditation practice and the five adversaries that his mind frequently uses to discourage him from continuing his practice. Tim, along with his girlfriend, run a blog for anyone looking for advice on topics ranging from finances and cooking, to health and dating, or for those just curious about how others tackle adulthood. Visit their website at TriedbyTwo.com. “Change yourself—you are in control.” —Mahatma Gandhi The mind doesn’t take kindly to requests for silence. It prides...
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First US Air Force Buddhist Chaplain Answers, “Why?”

by Brett Campbell Nobody asks for the chaplain in the good moments. This is an unspoken rule I realized early in my career. Nobody thinks of the chaplain after they’ve delivered a healthy child or they take their first steps following an accident that left them bedbound for weeks. These are the times when life makes sense. We don’t question these experiences. We simply bask in the joy they bring to our hearts. It is in the moments of pain...
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The Buddha’s First Teaching

One of the commonalities of the many traditions within Buddhism is the centrality of the messages in the Buddha’s very first teaching in Sarnath, shortly after attaining enlightenment in Bodhgaya. He held back from actually teaching the first people he met including the Burmese traders (who tradition tells us brought back some of his hair, which is encased in the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon) and the naked ascetic Upaka, all of whom were overwhelmed by his presence. The Tibetan...
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Judging Books by Their Covers: A Defense

by Kate, Production Coordinator/Designer I have a confession to make: I judge books by their covers. And I’m not even sorry about it. I’m baffled by how many amazing books there are in the world that I’ll never have time to read. And there are more being released all the time! It can be so overwhelming to have to choose which books I’m going to make time for and which books I’m just going to have to pass over. There are...
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A Lecture Series on Asanga’s Bodhisattvabhumi with Translator Artemus Engle

In conjunction with the Tsadra Foundation, premier translator and scholar Artemus Engle brings Asanga's masterpiece, the Bodhisattvabhumi, to life, unlocking what can be an intimidating text and making its important and power to light. Part 1:   Part 2: See also an excerpt from the introduction Art Engle has a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from the University of Wisconsin; adjunct professor, interpreter, and translator; active in the development of a program for teaching Buddhist classics that integrates a study of the...
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A Walk with Dogen into Our Time

For a full reader's guide to his works, visit our Reader Guide. Peter Levitt's introduction to The Essential Dogen In 1954 poet Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem called "Song" that acknowledges the weight of our human circumstance and suf­fering in a particular and somewhat unusual way. I believe it may also provide a gateway to the following writings by Zen master Eihei Dogen, who addressed the nature of reality as he came to understand the world of people and things...
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Samurai and Japanese Culture Reader’s Guide: The Works of Master Translator and Author William Scott Wilson

One of the greatest joys for me as an editor at Shambhala Publications is when I work on books by people I have long admired. This was most definitely the case when Shambhala had the good fortune to become William Scott Wilson’s publisher several years ago. I first encountered his work when I was a young martial arts student; his translation of Takuan Soho’s The Unfettered Mind was a revelation. When, many years later, I began to correspond with him...
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The Thirteen Core Indian Buddhist Texts: A Reader’s Guide

Khenpo Shenga (1871–1927) There are thirteen classics of Indian Mahayana philosophy, still used in Tibetan centers of education throughout Asia and beyond, particularly the Nyngma tradition, with overlap with the others.  They cover the subjects of vinaya, abhidharma, Yogacara, Madhyamika, and the path of the Bodhisattva.  They are some of the most frequently quoted texts found in works written from centuries ago to today. Below is a reader's guide to these works. Khenpo Shenga, who penned influential commentaries on all...
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Remembering S.N. Goenka

We join our palms and say goodbye to a teacher who had an immense impact on the world. S.N. Goenka was a pioneer in making  Vipassana meditation  widely available to a secular audience. Over 170 meditation centers have been established around the globe under his auspices. His legacy will resound indefinitely.   By learning to remain balanced in the face of everything experienced inside, one develops detachment towards all that one encounters in external situations as well. However, this detachment is...
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Nalanda and Its Legacy

The Nalanda Tradition This entry to the Great Masters series kicks off a series within a series that looks at the great Buddhist center of learning at Nalanda in India and what are known as the Seventeen Panditas of Nalanda, a grouping conceived by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as they are the core group of masters whose works further articulate the teachings of the Buddha and which form the basis of Buddhist philosophy we have today. This group begins...
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Aryadeva Reader’s Guide

Mahayana Buddhist philosophy This article for the Great Masters Series focuses on Aryadeva, the second of what His Holiness the Dalai Lama refers to as the Seventeen Pandits of Nalanda, whose works form the foundation for Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.  Birth and Training While early biographies vary in detail and timing, traditional accounts such as those by Taranatha, Butön in his History of Buddhism, and Chandrakirti identify Aryadeva as being born in Sri Lanka in a royal family in the late...
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Rodney Smith on What it Means to Awaken

An Interview with Rodney Smith, author of Awakening: A Paradigm Shift of the Heart Shambhala: In your new book you take on the possibly daunting task of describing what enlightenment is and how it happens. To what extent can it even be described? Rodney Smith: I think the words used to describe awakening can intimate something that we all feel is true though we may not have had the actual experience. When this book speaks of the paradigm shift toward...
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Translating the Maitreya Treatises: An Interview with Thomas Doctor

We recently interviewed Thomas Doctor, a translator on the Dharmachakra Translation Committee, about the importance of their recent translations of the Maitreya texts and commentaries. Shambhala Publications: The Dharmachakra Translation Committee has now published two of the five Maitreya texts, with a third on the way soon. Can you give a brief overview of why you chose to translate these? Thomas Doctor: There is a set of thirteen classic Indian texts that make up the core curriculum of sutra studies...
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A Year of Mindfulness: A Reading List

What would you like to accomplish this year? Have you made New Year's resolutions to start meditating or pick up your practice again? To be more mindful with your children or adolescents? To mend a broken heart or learn to cook? To finally figure out your dosha, prioritize, or simply to relax? We at Shambhala have books covering all these topics and more to help you have your most satisfying, healthy, and mindful year yet. From favorite authors like Pema...
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The Way of the Bodhisattva: An Immersive Workshop in Boulder May 18-22, 2016

[Note, this event occurred in the past and the videos are all available on this site for free.] Few texts are more frequently taught and quoted, have as colorful a history, and as much relevance to Buddhists today more than the eighth-century Indian Buddhist monk Shantideva's The  Way of the Bodhisattva.  The Dalai Lama has said that "if I have any understanding of compassion and the bodhisattva path, it all comes from studying this text. " The living tradition of this...
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Relating to Fear, Anger, and Conflict: A Reader’s Guide

2016 was certainly a year of high emotions and global challenges-a confusing and contentious U.S. election, civil wars in Syria and Iraq, Olympic scandals, Brexit, the spread of the Zika virus, continuing international acts of terrorism, and so much more. But as we open the New Year, we also have the opportunity to reflect on where we've been and how we can approach our lives with new energy and clarity. It's a natural reaction for us to become disoriented and...
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Teachings to Prepare for Death

Intermediate States: Bardos and Living and Dying from Ancient India to 21st Century New York Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz (02/02/1878 – 07/17/1965): American anthropologist and writer who was a pioneer in the study of Tibetan Buddhism. The term bardo, often translated as "intermediate state" is a term that entered the popular imagination in the West with the publication of W.Y. Evans-Wentz's 1927 translation of The Great Liberation by Hearing in the Intermediate States, which he rendered as The Tibetan Book of...
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An Interview with Thubten Chodron

Thubten Chodron is an American Buddhist nun in the Tibetan tradition. A student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan masters, she became a nun in 1977. She is abbess of Sravasti Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in eastern Washington State. She is the author of several books, her most recent being  Don't Believe Everything You Think.   Ven. Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha's teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in...
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A New Perspective on an Ancient Practice: An Interview with Zoketsu Norman Fischer

Shambhala: How did you first encounter Zen, and what was your introduction to practice like? Norman Fischer: I got involved at first through reading-reading and thinking about my life. This was in the very early days, when there were no Zen centers or practice centers of any kind (at least that I was aware of) and the idea that Buddhism could be practiced in the West was not even thinkable. What a difference from today! So, as a young man...
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Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche: A Reader’s Guide

This article is a reader's guide to the great Rimé master Mipham Rinpoche (sometimes written Mipam), who reinvigorated the Nyingma tradition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Jamgon Mipham (1846–1912) Mipham Rinpoche's Life Relative to his impact, and somewhat surprising given that he passed away only one hundred years ago, the details of Mipham Rinpoche's life are not that well known. But there are two works that cover his life in great detail. The first—and a must-have for...
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His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama Books: A Guide

DALAI LAMA TITLES See All Books Dalai Lama Books For this latest installment of our Great Masters series, we turn to a contemporary master, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, often referred to by Tibetans as Gyalwa Rinpoche or Kundun. As with previous posts, this is not intended to be a complete biography but rather a look at His Holiness's teachings through the lens of his books, mostly the two dozen published by us, though a few others are included...
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Pointing to the Heart of the Buddhadharma: An Interview with Guo Gu, author of The Essence of Chan

Shambhala: Can you tell us something about your background-how you encountered the Buddhadharma? Guo Gu: I first learned meditation when I was in Taiwan at age four. A meditation master named Guangqin taught me how to sit in meditation, and I thought it was fun to copy what he was doing. Later, my family immigrated to the States when I was 11. We studied Chan Master Sheng Yen. He was to become my Shifu, or "teacher-father, " the most important...
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Normalcy at Its Best: An Interview with David Chadwick, Biographer of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

Shambhala: Your teacher Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has now been in print for more than forty years, and is still often recommended as the best first book to read about Zen practice. Why do you think its popularity has endured throughout the explosion of Buddhist publishing the last few years? David Chadwick: Hard to say. It's just got a unique chemistry that has worked in many ways for many people. ZMBM can be a warm, inviting introduction to...
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In Praise of Longchen Rabjam

By Khenpo Shenga Translated by Adam Pearcey Due to the kindness of Guru Padmasambhava, there have been many great holders of the teachings here in Tibet, the Land of Snows. There have appeared highly accomplished saints who were no different from the vidyadharas of India, the Land of the Aryas. Yet although there have been countless eminent scholars, none of them might be compared with the Six Ornaments and Two Supreme Ones of India in terms of wisdom and enlightened...
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Nagarjuna as Described by Buton

From Butön's History of Buddhism in India and Its Spread to Tibet Four hundred years after the Buddha passed away, in the southern country of Vidarbha, there lived a prosperous Brahmin who was childless. In a dream, gods foretold that if he invited one hundred Brahmins to a religious festival, a son would be born to him. He did as he was told, made prayers, and ten months later a son was born. When he showed the child's distinguishing marks...
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